(Or, Movies That Made Me Nearly Pee In My Pants From Fear)
I said "nearly," and I mean "nearly." Honest.
Autumn is near. More than any other season, the Fall brings with it an intangible sorta vibe that floods me with specific imagery, and memories.
Corn for example. Usually, I hate the sight of corn! (Tip o' the hat to my Des Moines buddies.) But for some reason--maybe because of some Freudian attraction to Pilgrims--I love the vegetable during Autumn. Can't get enough of the stuff.
But another thing I can't get enough of during Fall is movies. Scary movies in particular. Not the slasher-sort of flick where kids get killed while camping, nor those movies that are more snuff films than art. Nope...I'm talking about movies that send a chill down my spine by using interesting stories, atypical plot themes and great acting. Good special effects--even gore, if it is integral to the plot, and not gratuitous--add greatly to the experience.
Scary movies affect me emotionally, and usually for a long time. Some of them have even influenced small aspects of my life. When I was a kid, for instance, I slept with blankets wrapped around my neck to prevent being bitten by vampires. I recall: (1) knowing there were no real vampires; (2) knowing that if there were real vampires, a mere blanket wouldn't stop the assault; and (3) cramming the blanket tight between my shoulder and neck anyway. Just in case...
The power of film.
So, simply because it's Autumn, here are the 5 Movies That Scared Me The Most. In no particular order of fright-dom:
Rosemary's Baby: This flick made me scared--to this day--of two things. First, chicks with really short hair. Second, new neighbors. Anytime I move into a new community, I fear my neighbors are witches or Satanists who will reel me in with their faux friendliness only to use me, ultimately, for evil.
The Howling: Except for the final few minutes, when the female lead turns into a Yorkshire terrier-styled werewolf, The Howling kicked ass from beginning to (almost) end. Because of this movie, anytime I move into a new community, I fear my neighbors are werewolves who will reel me in...Well, nevermind.
An American Werewolf In London: When this movie came out in theaters, I couldn't watch the thing straight through. But, I did later on VHS. (I'm such a sissy.) It wasn't the gore as much as it was the complete loss of control and despair experienced by the lead character. Scary stuff.
I guess werewolves were big in the early 80s.
Nosferatu: Recall my earlier compulsion to stuff blankets around my neck to keep vampires from gettin' to the jugular?
Halloween III-Season Of The Witch: Although this movie had a Halloween title, it wasn't really related to the earlier flicks of the same name. In this one, a toymaker plots to use Halloween masks to kills millions of kids and release some black magic mumbo jumbo. I forget the actual plot, but the damn movie scared the bejesus outta me back in the day.
You gotta list of your own? Now that I've made mine, I may need to dig out my blankie...
UPDATE: I owe Useless Drivel an apology. About a month ago he wrote a post very similar to this one, which I read at the time. I forgot about his post when writing this one, thus neglecting to give him props for having the idea first. (No hard feelings, OffRoute 75. I really did forget.) Anyway, check his out. It's a great list.